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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, November 26, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Cassell Coliseum (9,847) -- Blacksburg, Virginia. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: Furman 2-1, VaTech 3-1. Away Record: Furman 0-1, VaTech 0-0. Neutral Record: Furman 0-0, VaTech 0-2. Conference Record: Furman 0-0, VaTech 0-0. Series Record: Virginia Tech leads, 13-12.
GAME NOTES: Returning home after two straight losses in Brooklyn as part of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic, the Virginia Tech Hokies set their sights on the Furman Paladins in non-conference action on Tuesday.
The Hokies are an even 3-3 on the season after a fruitless trip to the Barclays Center this past weekend resulted in tough losses to top-ranked Michigan State (96-77) and Seton Hall (68-67).
The Paladins are also sporting a .500 record, splitting their first four games this year. Furman won its first two games, but has dropped decisions to Florida Gulf Coast (70-69) and College of Charleston (89-55) since.
Virginia Tech has won the last four meetings with Furman to take a 13-12 series lead, but this marks the first head-to-head matchup since the 1964-65 campaign.
Niko Medved's first season at the helm of the Furman program has yielded mixed results thus far. The team has a prolific scoring threat in Stephen Croone (21.0 ppg), but has struggled to provide adequate support around him. Williams Gates (11.8 ppg) and Larry Wideman (11.3 ppg) add limited depth, but the scoring pool dries up fast after that. The Paladins come into this contest averaging a modest 66.2 ppg, but are giving up 68.0 ppg.
Furman is coming off a season-low 55 points in a lopsided loss to the College of Charleston. Croone was once again magnificent, netting 20 points on 7- of-14 shooting, but only Gates (13 pts) finished with more than six points in the contest for the Paladins. Outside of Croone and Gates, the remainder of the roster managed to add just 22 points to the cause.
Jarrell Eddie posted a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds, Ben Emelogu poured in 18 points off the bench, while Adam Smith chipped in with 11 points, but it wasn't enough, as Virginia Tech dropped a heart-breaking one- point decision to Seton Hall last time out. The Hokies drained 10 3-pointers in the game, but struggled elsewhere, finishing at a 40.4-percent clip from the floor overall.
Replacing the nation's leading scorer from last year (Erick Green) wasn't supposed to be easy, but James Johnson has his Hokies collectively filling the void. Eddie has been outstanding in taking over as the team's top offensive option, as he averages 18.0 ppg. Emelogu (14.3 ppg) provides steady play as a spark off the bench, while Smith (13.5 ppg) and C.J. Barksdale (11.0 ppg) round out a decent scoring quartet for Virginia Tech. The Hokies are averaging almost 80 points per game this season (79.7), but are giving up nearly as much (77.2 ppg).
Virginia Tech isn't ready to compete for an ACC title anytime soon, but the Hokies remain a tough opponent for non-conference competition, especially in Blacksburg.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Virginia Tech 73, Furman 60
11/26 10:35:28 ET
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